Lupin The 3rd: Farewell to Nostradamus (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, August 01, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2005
What They Say
Will the prophesy be fulfilled?
Lupin the 3rd is up to his old tricks as he and Jigen steal a precious diamond during the height of Carnivale. Easy enough for the world’s greatest thief. But Lupin’s walking straight into trouble as the plane he boards for his escape has been prophecied to be hijacked!
A bizarre cult called the Nostradamus Sect has successfully predicted the outcome of world events by consulting the ancient writings of their sacred book. And so far, they’ve never been wrong.
Aboard the plane Lupin encounters Fujiko working as a nanny for a young girl named Julia. She was hired to steal the book of prophecies, which is being stored in a vault atop a skyscraper owned by Julia’s father, a wealthy American with dreams on the Presidency. What’s more, the vault can only be opened by a member of Julia’s family.
Without warning the prophecy comes true and Julia is kidnapped in the process! Can Lupin rescue Julia, find a way into the vault, and discover the connection between the cult and the kidnapping? And what about his diamond?!
One of the missing books of Nostradamus turns up in the hands of a new Sect that's using it to gain power and money and only Lupin and company can save the day.
We ended up listening to this show in full in both languages and enjoyed both tracks quite a lot, though a few characters didn’t sound quite right in the English one to us, based off of various other English casts. Regardless, both tracks feature a nice solid stereo mix that does a good job of providing the effects and music of the show nicely as well as placing dialogue well throughout the program. The Japanese track is listed as a mono track on the packaging and it's likely encoded that way but according to our receiver and the info page on the DVD player, it's been done as a split stereo track but still provides a full sounding center channel feeling to it. During regular playback, we had no issues with dropouts or distortions.
Originally released theatrically back in 1995, the transfer for this film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 but is not enhanced for anamorphic playback. Done in the usual style one expects for the franchise, Farewell to Nostradamus has a good color palette that is mostly real-world but with some nice flashes of vibrancy. Colors are nicely saturated without bleeding and cross coloration is practically non-existent. There’s some minor aliasing in a few areas and some occasional nicks and maybe a bit of dust here and there but overall it's a decent looking transfer.
The cover to this release uses the original Japanese artwork but it's a bit weak in a few areas and lacks a lot of detail, especially when you notice Zenigata swinging by and his face is little more the color blobs. The shot of Lupin carrying the young girl up while set against the big tower and all of the other chaos looks good at first it loses its appeal the more you look at it. It's not one of my favorite cover pieces to the Lupin franchise but it's not the worst either. The back cover provides a few shots from the show and a good summary of the films premise alongside some comical blueprint style artwork. The discs features and technical information is easy to find though a touch small on the font. As is standard with FUNimation, no insert is included with this release.
The menus are nice and simple this time around with the right half of the screen doing a collection of character shots and some of the background to Rio there while the left half is left black and has the film name and the very simple navigation section. Access times are nice and fast and the layout very easy to navigate. Due to the way that FUNimation sets up their discs technically, our player's language presets never work properly and we have to manually change them..
The only extra included in this release is the profiles section and a couple of text pages explaining who Nostradamus was.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Farewell to Nostradamus, originally titled To Hell with Nostradamus!, is the latest theatrical feature from the large Lupin library to make its way over here. Like other Lupin movies, it's nicely self contained and has a bigger than usual plot with more at stake than a typical episode. The movies in general haven't been my favorite part of the franchise though with the exception of Cagliostro, but Nostradamus does provide for an entertaining viewing.
The plot is fairly complicated for this in only that it doesn't really get revealed till much further in than expected and even then it feels like it's not really all that much of a plot but a wild goose chase. The film kicks off with a bit of general Lupin fun as he and Jigen have just pulled off a job that got them a nice big diamond, which he promptly stuffs inside of a girls doll and they take off to the airport and lose Zenigata there after tricking him into which plane they were on. Much as Lupin's life goes, he loses the doll pretty quickly when a precocious young girl comes by and takes it from him after labeling him a pedophile. Come to find out, Fujiko is acting as her tutor and guardian as she's the daughter of the very wealthy American named Douglas who is about to run for President.
Lupin's luck gets even worse when hijackers take over the plane and use it as a cover in order to kidnap the little girl and use her as a pawn in the larger game. The hijacking had a dual purpose use as well. On board the plane were eleven members of the Brazilian soccer team. This was used by a crafty man as a sign of one of Nostradamus' prophecies as he claims he has the missing book of prophecies and that this is a foretelling of many bad things to follow. The hijacking happening on cue brings him many new followers and increases his prominence among things as he has his own agenda to work with in this new Sect that's risen up.
With the little girl kidnapped and Fujiko having claimed she was worth fifty million dollars, Lupin's all gentleman in his attempts to get the gang to take on this mission of retrieving the girl and the prize. This requires some stops in various places across Brazil, including the massive tower that Douglas has built here that contains a city within its two hundred floors. There are all sorts of feints and double feints going on as each of the groups are vying for power with Douglas in trying to get him to step down from running for President as well as acquiring the real book of prophecies that Douglas has hidden in his vault. The child is the key to opening the vault though so everything revolves around her and her smart little attitude.
With all of this taking place in Brazil, we get some fun new locales and avoid using the same tired areas from other films. It's strange that Douglas is launching his candidacy from Rio but politics and the real world rarely make full appearances within a Lupin episode when style can win over it. The film is very much in the same style as other Lupin specials and OVAs of the time in that it looks good and retains the designs that Monkey Punch came up with some time ago with the usual small changes done in moving from manga to anime. There isn't a lot really challenging with this release but we do get some very attractive fanservice scenes of a naked Fujiko that sort of makes up for the overall weak plot that doesn't amount to very much.
Farewell to Nostradamus is the kind of Lupin piece that's just sort of there. It's not one of the better ones but it's not horrible either. There are some good action scenes, some interesting tense pieces and even a visit with a family member, but it lacks a real overall cohesion to really keep it all together for the entire length of the film and make you really care about what's going on. As a straightforward action/adventure piece it works nicely and you can get away without using much of your brain for it and just enjoy. Hopefully the next release in the series will provide for a bit more substantial material to it.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Who Is Nostradamus
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen Letterbox
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Lupin the 3rd